Robbins Geller provides counsel to those unable to afford legal representation as part of a continuous and longstanding commitment to the communities in which it serves. Over the years the Firm has dedicated a considerable amount of time, energy and a full range of its resources for many pro bono cases. Additionally, Robbins Geller encourages each of its attorneys to devote a portion of their time to pro bono activities.
Robbins Geller has been honored for its pro bono efforts by the California State Bar (including nomination for the President’s Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year award) and the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer’s Program, among others.
The Firm’s pro bono matters include:
- Serving as Northern California and Hawaii District Coordinator for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s Pro Bono program since 1993.
- Representing the Sierra Club and the National Economic Development and Law Center as amici curiae before the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Obtaining political asylum, after an initial application had been denied, for an impoverished Somali family whose ethnic minority faced systematic persecution and genocidal violence in Somalia, as well as forced female mutilation.
- Working with the ACLU in a class action filed on behalf of welfare applicants subject to San Diego County’s “Project 100%” program. Relief was had when the County admitted that food-stamp eligibility could not hinge upon the Project 100% “home visits,” and again when the district court ruled that unconsented “collateral contacts” violated state regulations. The decision was noted by the Harvard Law Review, The New York Times and The Colbert Report.
- Filing numerous amicus curiae briefs on behalf of religious organizations and clergy that support civil rights, oppose government-backed religious-viewpoint discrimination, and uphold the American traditions of religious freedom and church-state separation.
- Representing 19 San Diego County children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in their appeal of the San Diego Regional Center's termination of funding for a crucial therapy. The victory resulted in a complete reinstatement of funding and set a precedent that allows other children to obtain the treatments they need.
- Serving as amicus counsel in a Ninth Circuit appeal from a Board of Immigration Appeals deportation decision. In addition to obtaining a reversal of the BIA’s deportation order, the Firm consulted with the Federal Defenders’ Office on cases presenting similar fact patterns, which resulted in a precedent-setting en banc decision from the Ninth Circuit resolving a question of state and federal law that had been contested and conflicted for decades.